So this year, PennyBlack will be representing at the Lethbridge Windy City Tattoo Weekend.
Last year was a ton of fun, and that was just before the studio actually came into being, so this year should be even better with our full crew.
We are also trying to sort out the logistics of getting a booth at the Capital City Tattoo Convention in Victoria.
What we will -not- be doing is supporting the West Coast Tattoo Culture Show. The reasons for this are multi-fold:
-The pricing for booths is, in my opinion, fairly exorbitant. I understand that these events are anything but cheap to put on, but making the artists pay as much as this convention is asking strikes me as unfair. As with so many other aspects of life in Vancouver, these booth rental fees are more a reflection of what people will pay, not what its worth.
-The convention promoters decided to offer half-price booth rental to any studio from the USA, and free booths to anyone from overseas. This strikes us as completely unfair. We're sure the promoters intention was to be more inviting to studios from far and wide. However, its also a fairly blunt statement- "You locals aren't good enough, you don't have enough draw, so you can pay full price." In short, there's nothing fair and equal about such a multi-tiered pricing structure.
-Professionalism. More importantly, the complete and utter lack thereof. Consider the massive banner that loads upon visitation of the West Coast Tattoo Culture Show. Second image down, the 'douchebag alert'. Now, folks, we don't know what has happened between the promoters of this convention and the West Coast Piercing and Ink Den, nor do we particularly care. As it stands, we don't actually even know anyone from either camp.
What we -do- care about is the shockingly unprofessional behavior of the promoters. A banner such as this makes all of the team assembling this look like children. It's infantile, unnecessary, and serves only to reinforce negative stereotypes that we as tattoo industry professionals are trying to overcome. Well, some of us are, at least.
Thus- to the un-informed observer, this is what 'tattoo culture' is- petty name calling.
So. Yes. This is why we at PennyBlack won't be representing at this convention, opting instead to travel out of town to where I know we will have fun and where we know we'll be avoiding the playground politics so willfully engaged in locally.